From the Arlington Police Department
In 2010, 390 bikes using cables or chains as locks were stolen. The cables can quickly be cut with a rechargeable cutting tool and the padlocks are easily broken.
To prevent your bike from being stolen:
1) USE A U-LOCK. Properly secured this offers the best protection against theft. Secure the frame of your bike to a solid object, preferably one weighing more than the bike. And if you have a releasable wheel, it too should be secured with the frame.
2) ALWAYS LOCK YOUR BIKE. No matter what its value.
3) REGISTER YOUR BIKE with the Police Department. [WC: while I think this is a fine idea, it won't keep your bike from being stolen. And registering with one of the two National online registries is a good additional - if not preferable - suggestion]
Bike registration is easy and free and you can do it online at www.arlingtonva.us. Go to Online Services and click on Register your Bike. You must use the serial number engraved on your bicycle, not from a receipt. You will receive an ACPD decal in the mail within 7 days to place on your bicycle which, when visible, is a definite deterrent to theft.
AND IF YOU DO BECOME A VICTIM:
Stolen Bikes: File a report online immediately. Go to www.arlingtonva.us/police and click on Report a Crime. Include brand, model, color and serial number.
AND REMEMBER -- AN ABANDONED BIKE MAY BE A STOLEN BIKE
Abandoned Bikes: Call 703-228-4057. Report it immediately. Leave your phone number and a description and location of the bicycle.
Heather Hurlock, Lt. APO
Crime Prevention Specialist
Special Operations Section